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Posts posted by j_cuevas713

  1. 18 hours ago, nate4l1f3 said:

    It’s really sad to see the food hall in its current state. The place was buzzing when it first opened now’s there’s empty stalls and zero energy in the place. 

    It is but this is all Covid related. Many of those businesses are cutting their hours big time. Finn Hall and Understory both get most of their business M-F at the moment. Bravery seems to be steady with customers and Lyric Hall is building out at the moment so the demand is still there. Downtown in general has way too much momentum at the moment for places like this to stay in this current state. 

  2. 2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

    Got a chance to walk around this neighborhood on a trip to town the other day. I was not overwhelmingly impressed by the new buildings by Hines, but when I got to the corner of Milam and Capitol next to this little plaza and looked around, that is when everything sort of came together. All the new buildings in this area of downtown combined to frame the plaza in such a way that I got a very exciting feeling of being in the center of a dynamic place. The feeling was similar to some of the great small plazas in Chicago like the Federal Plaza, Richard J. Daley Plaza, or the little plaza in front of the Wrigley building (probably better than the first two and not as good as the last).

    I walked through the Gulf Building and over to Main Street and the feeling continued. Just felt great being downtown. I walk around downtown Austin a few times a week and downtown Houston just has a more mature and ennobling feel - everything in Austin is haphazard and chaotic, whereas the continuous vertical building faces defining the streetgrid in Houston give a sense of assurance and solidity, which stirs the heart in a way that only great downtowns can. The canyon effect of distant sirens and voices evoked thoughts of being in New York.

    I stood at the corner of Texas and Main, admiring the front of 609 Main, and as my glance turned, I couldn't believe the sight of the dumpy old Binz Building. What a great candidate for redevelopment! The owners have about half the block, and it could connect to the tunnel system. If Skanska can build on such a narrow site at Discovery Green, someone could surely make a great thin office tower right here.

    Walked a block north on Main and as I passed the Rice, I was struck by how tattered everything suddenly looked. It's sort of the feeling you get in the suburbs when you cross that invisible line between a "desirable" and a "not desirable" school district - the life just seems to get sucked out of everything. I've walked here a hundred times and never quite felt it in this way. Developing the parking lot at Main and Prairie would change this area considerably and extend the effect of the central part of Main Street.

    As a final note, it was sad how few people were out on the streets at lunch hour on a business day. Makes me wonder if downtown has come as far as I thought it had, but I had to keep reminding myself, "It's the pandemic." Downtown Austin for that matter has about the same level of pedestrian activity at lunchtime, except maybe along Congress. Went to check out POST and although it wasn't exactly bustling, it had more human life than the historic district. Just have to keep improving.

    You nailed it. I think the Rice Hotel will pick back up but many of these places are operating on pandemic hours. You aren't wrong about how far we've come, it's just that right now things are moving slow, especially for the hospitality business. POST really did a nice job bringing life to the north side of city center and Common Desk hasn't even moved in yet. Downtown isn't slowing down either. We still have a few projects to expect the next few years, and who knows what that will spur as well.

    • Like 4
  3. 6 hours ago, wilcal said:

    I have no idea. That would be kind of wild, but I guess that's feasible.

    Especially with how dumb some of the parking requirements are. Bars require the most!

    It isn't like we are talking about parking maximums, here. 

    Honestly, the only pushback I ever really hear at these public meetings is about homeowners not wanting people parking in front of their homes (and if there are bars, then cans/trash in yards), and we have tools to mitigate the parking component. Plus, there is so much street parking on Canal, and just a small handful of homes. 

    Yeah it would. That means developments are going through without the planning commission overseeing what's being built. I hope that's not the case but it wouldn't surprise me for a city like Houston. 

  4. 11 hours ago, wilcal said:

    Here is the meeting recording on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HoustonPlanning/videos/3180050498987408/

    This starts at 1:51:20.  I'll do a quick recap. 

    There were a few public comments, including from the East End District President:

    There is a copy of the variance request in the Agenda.

    TLDR: keeping same 16k sf of building. Requires 110 with 10% bike reduction and only has 32. 

    Multi-use restaurant development. These are screencaps from the FB vid so they are terrible:


    Basically, they said it is impossible to provide the required parking on-site because of the structure.

    The off-site lot they have chosen for remote valet is 2,000 ft down the street. This appears to be the location where Cidercade is. 


    They have 48 extra spaces to allocate evidently:


    They also bring up, like I did earlier, that the TOD ends about 30 feet away from their site:


    Basis of staff approval:


    The applicant mentions that the developer is the same one that did the Cidercade development. 

    One of the commissioners talks about how MBP needs to extend into the East End and that the businesses are thriving in areas without parking required. Small businesses can compete better with larger developers this way.

    Marty Stein, the chair, says that parking is the "next big thing" the planning commission will take up.

    Passes unanimously!

    Wow, watching that was like a breath of fresh air <3

    This city is finally starting to get it. It’s just taking time. Great stuff.


    Did I understand correctly that if an item is deferred and not posted correctly the second time at city hall that it’s automatically approved and the the planning dept has no say on the item? 

    • Like 1
  5. 6 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

    A few weeks after the proposal was approved by whom?  

    I suspect what you are remembering is the final City Council vote granting Metro  rights-of-way to use city streets, which occurred in November 2000. AFTER Metro had spent years planning the line and running it through various other approvals.  Construction started in March 2001, 15 or 16 weeks after the right-of-way approval. (FWIW, the BRT and light rail projects included in MetroNext will also require city council  approvals of rights of way for Metro, which approvals have not yet been sought or received.)

    Yeah it’s been a while lol I guess it just seemed like things moved faster for some reason 

  6. 1 minute ago, Houston19514 said:

    I think your memory is playing tricks on you.  The very idea of a transit project putting shovels in the ground within a few weeks of a vote is fantasy talk.

    I mean I remember that for the Red Line. It was just a few weeks after the proposal was approved that construction started. 

  7. 2 hours ago, Amlaham said:

    Any word on when they're going to start on the rail extension to Hobby airport? I feel like metro is taking a while to start on any of their projects. 

    Me too. I remember in previous approved transit projects a shovel was in the ground within a few weeks. Idk why a lot of preplanning wasn't done sooner along with community input. 

    • Like 1
  8. Looks like we’re finally going to start seeing traditional retail in the shopping district. I’m assuming those other two towers are going to start simultaneously based on the plaza layout. 

    I think what makes us unique in Texas is our grid layout that expands well in to Midtown. I’m all for more buildings but the street presence is what makes it exciting. I’ve noticed our street presence is starting to really pick up. 

    • Like 5
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